tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 12, 2015 6:00pm-8:01pm EST
mr. carper: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. carper: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. carper: thank you mr. president. well mr. president congress says here we do a lot of oversight, oversight that's focused on what is going right and also what is going wrong in our government. there's a lot of each actually.
that oversight is critically important work. sometimes overlooked but critically important. i think it's also important to stop and recognize where things are going right from time to time and people that are doing the right thing. following in the footsteps of one of our former colleagues here -- i don't think the presiding officer had a chance to work with him but ted kaufman served here for two years. he succeeded joe biden and went off to do some other job. i think vice president maybe that's what he is. and then before senator chris coons was elected two years later, ted kaufman was our senator. great guy. used to be senator joe biden's chief of staff for i think 20 years or so. but ted used to come to the floor pretty regularly and talk about different federal employees who were doing exemplary work, people who had gone above and beyond to achieve the mission of solving problems and giving the u.s. taxpayers something to be proud of.
when somebody has a good idea, i like to steal it, and i think ted kaufman had a great idea. we've not really stolen it but we've taken the idea and refocused it just a little bit to focus on some of the people that the presiding officer and i along with senator johnson met with on the u.s. border with mexico. i've decided to take the ted kaufman idea and focus it, put a spotlight on a number of employees within the department of homeland security. as many of us know, the department of homeland security which does important work, sometimes heroic work, they suffer from low morale but they're filled with men and women who deserve, i think, in many kayss a lot more credit than they receive. today i want to talk for the next several minutes about one of the people we met a fellow whose name i think you'll probably remember, mr. president. his name is ramiro garza jr.
he goes by "ram." he's an outstanding border patrol officer we met last week in mcallen texas while visiting the southern border in south texas. the presiding officer senator ron johnson and yours truly. this is ram ram garza jr. some of you may remember the pictures last summer when an unprecedented surge of central american children and families arrived at our texas border. the pictures really kind of burned into your memory for a lot of us. they were, the pictures were, we're more used to seeing in war zones than our own country. hundreds and hundreds of unaccompanied minors, mothers with young children in search of protection literally turning themselves in to our border agents and asking for asylum.
the rio grande valley in south texas is where agent ram garza works. ram is the he's the acting patrol agent in charge of the rio grande valley sector of the u.s. border patrol. in the rio grande valley where ram works is the epi center of that humanitarian crisis that we witnessed last year. that's because most of the migrants were from the northern triangle of central america were fleeing violence, fleeing economic desperation and fleeing a sense of hopelessness in guatamala, honduras and el salvador. they had to travel the shortest route which runs up the east side of mexico from central america to the texas border. many of the people on that trek did it on top of a train a
series of trains, not passenger trains but freight trains. people get on top of the trains and try to hold on for a 1,500 mile trip. some succeeded. some didn't. some fell between the trains, cars and lost their liessments some made it -- lost their lives. some made it to the border. some fell off the train. some got hurt. some got on another train. some did not make it. but many rode on top of those trains to get here and they suffered violence. if they made it safely on the train a lot of them suffered violence at the hands of predatory gangs along the way. when these children showed up in south texas they literally overwhelmed the border patrol stations along the border. these stations are only supposed to contain the migrants for a very short period of time as they are processed for removal or for detention. usually along the border they deal with young men. however, last year stations were
packed with mothers and young children who were trapped there for days as our government struggled to find suitable shelters and decide what to do with them. there are no adequate meals no clothing no diapers. there's literally no room at times for someone to lie down either. and faced with this human crisis customs and border protection agents sprang into action and among the leaders was our agent here today that i want to especially put a spotlight on ramiro garza. and with help from his colleagues ram went above and beyond to process the arrival according to the law while also responding to the human needs of these people. agent garza helped create an emergency operation center to manage the crisis and work to transfer unaccompanied children to the office of refugee resettlement. perhaps most impressive, he worked with his colleagues to
convert an enormous abandoned warehouse we visited in mcallen, texas. just a few miles from our border with mexico. he turned it into a processing center to detain migrants and they did it in 18 days. you look at the place and they described what it was like before they started working on it and you looked at what they did in 18 days; pretty remarkable stuff. the fellow we honor especially here today and those who worked with him, we think they deserve this recognition. this processing center helped greatly relieve the crowded and inadequate conditions in multiple border patrol stations along the border. and when senator johnson our presiding officer senator sasse and i visited this past weekend the extraordinary processing center that agent garza helped to set up, we were amazed to see a cavernous orderly center equipped with humanitarian center. it had space for officials to work with customs and border protection in order to properly
identify migrants and arrange for speedier repatriations in many cases to their home countries where appropriate. agent garza was instrumental in designing the processing facility and getting it up and running quickly. today he is in charge of that facility. just the latest achievement in agent ramiro garza's career with the border patrol. agent garza grew up in the rio grande valley. there he attended high school at the university of texas pan american. he joined the border patrol in 1996. his first assignment was the brownsville station near the rio grande sector. in 2004 he was promoted to supervisory patrol agent. that was followed by tours at the rio grande sectors intelligence office in harlingen station. he worked details in washington d.c. where his duties included supporting the agents efforts in
biometric collections something we think is very important. while he was helping to humanely process migrants apprehended at the border, agent garza also cares for his own family, his wiefer and their own two -- his wife and two children. we thank them for sharing with us their husband and their dad. a very good man. the department of homeland security and our nation are truly blessed by ram's exemplary service. agent garza if you're out there listening, we want to thank you. we want to thank you for what you do each and every day for all of us. we thank you for your tireless service to our nation for all these years. mr. president, as you and i met along with senator johnson we met the men and women of the border patrol last weekend including agent garza we heard about their work, it's hard to ignore the fact that they might not know if they'll be getting a paycheck next month when the continuing resolution which funds the department of homeland security expires in, gosh, about
two weeks on february 27. many of them don't know if they'll be able to obtain the technology or supplies they need to do their jobs as effectively as possible either. it's not the way we would want to be treat fundamental we were in their -- treated if we were in their shoes but how we're treating men and women around the clock to protect our borders to keep our nation safe and secure. those of us here in congress can change that and i think we should. two of our colleagues -- senator jeanne shaheen of new hampshire barbara mikulski of maryland, introduced a clean appropriations bill that would fund the department of homeland security through september. overall the funding provisions of their bill, s. 272, which i understand both democrats and republicans on the appropriations committee agreed to just this past december, two months ago would provide under $40 billion in discretionary funding for the department of homeland security for the remainder of the fiscal year. that's an increase from year to
year of about $400 million. it's about a 1% increase above the 2014 funding. this bill would ensure that the department employees get their paychecks on time and have the resources they need to best meet the department's critical missions and the security needs of our nation. the clean bill put forward by senator shaheen and senator mikulski would take additional measures to secure our border and enforce our immigration law something i know is a priority to me and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle. in fact, most of the funding increase in the shaheen-comul city bill would go -- mikulski bill would be to immigration enforcement. the bill would put forward $10 million for border protection, an increase of $18 million above last year's level. this funding level would support the largest operational force level for the agency in its history, a total of more than 21,000 broarm agents and --
21,000 border patrol agents. if the department of homeland security remains on a continuing resolution or worse shuts down, we just won't be as effective as we ought to be in securing our nation's borders. if congress forces a shutdown of the department -- i hope we won't -- but front line personnel would be asked to continue to work without pay. here's some we met a few days ago when we were on the border. they don't look like fast boats but they move pretty good. we went zipping up and down the rio grande river looking for people trying to slip across the border looking for folks who were trying to bring contraband, drugs, illegal drugs across the border. but there's some 40,000 customs and border protections officers that are needed to keep our border secure. and the if we allow funding for the department to
lapse on february 27, we're going to expect these guys and gals to still come to work. we're just not going to pay them at least not in a timely way. if congress continues to keep the department on a continuing resolution, immigration and customs enforcement will see a shortfall i'm told of over a half billion dollars to respond to unaccompanied minors and families with children. in addition, customs and border protection won't be able to replace or upgrade border surveillance technology, including upgrades to obsolete remote and mobile video surveillance systems in the ohio risk area of the rio grande valley. the drone is a pilotless aircraft. we fly them -- aircraft similar to these all over the planet but we fly a number of them along the borders of our country with mexico to -- in an effort to try to see visualize detect people making their way to our borders maybe just to come across, maybe to flee, you know, a bad
situation in their own country. maybe it's to bring drugs or other things that illegal into our country. we're not going to be able to replace our upgrade this kind of technology. and to -- to bring it to high-risk areas along the rio grande valley. the department of homeland security secretary jeh johnson recently said -- and i want to quote secretary johnson just briefly, he said -- "border security is not free." he said, "the men and women of the department of homeland security need a partner in congress to fund their efforts." he added that time is running out. those are his words. and i just couldn't agree with him more. and thein the next week or so i pray that those of us in congress will come together and we'll do what i believe is the right thing and that is to support the passage of a clean full-year appropriation bill for the remainder of this fiscal year for the department of homeland security that we'll do it by february 27. and after we've done that for
god's sake, let's get to work on crafting a thoughtful comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform law for our country. one that better secures or borders, one that strengthens our economy and one that reduces our budget deficits over the next two decades by literally hundreds of billions of dollars. that's what we ought to do. and i would just pledge here today to my colleagues democrats and republicans one or two independents, our presiding officer that i'm more than ready to meet you in the middle and to do our dead-level best to make sure we meet our responsibilities. and with that, i'm looking for others on the floor who might want to speak mr. president. i don't see them. and i probably should note the absence of a quorum. thank you. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: mr. president today i'd like to pay tribute to two of the hardest working staffers in the senate. john ashbrook and russell coleman. first there's russell.
a dyed-in-the-wool kentuckian, he's a huge wildcats fan and the only words one associates with russell more often than "affable" are these two -- "persuasive and determined." when russell sets his mind to something, there is not much you can do to stop him. not that you'd want to because he's one of the friendliest guys you'll ever meet. more than a few times you'll see a group entering a meeting with russell boiling for a fight. and then the door opens and they're his best friends. it's quite a skill and it's nearly as impressive as this one one -- russell coleman knows just about everybody in kentucky. his rolodex is something to behold. he's done a lot of great work here in the senate. this one-time f.b.i. agent is passionate about law enforcement issues and this one-time intern
is passionate about mentoring others letting those around him know no matter how junior that their contributions do matter. russell's also a great fighter. that tough will has helped russell push through adversity with grace and with grit. and faith is a big part of russell's life, too. it's something he shares with chaplain black every friday in bible study. russell's ready to share more of himself too. with his family, his wife ashley and his children, annie and clay clay. they're all making the move back to louisville. they'll have a lot more time together and i know they and russell couldn't be happier. so congratulations russell and thanks for your service. now let me tell you about john
ashbrook. john's been with me since i first became republican leader. he was a fresh-faced kid back then a young guy from cincinnati who wanted nothing more than to work in the white house. i'm grateful he chose to work for me instead. i'm grateful john was willing to transfer his allegiance across the ohio river for the past eight years. because john ashbrook is easy manner matched with unbending will. you don't see that very often and he's been an important player on our staff not only for his professionalism but for his character too. john's known around the capitol as a founding member of the senate republican communications center. with john's help, it's been a real success. the capitol's going to be a different place without john's laughter echos in the corridors. every reporter knows his name.
every member of my staff knows his smile. it's pretty hard to miss. john muffin in hand, is usually the first guy in every morning. many hours later he's often the last one out. i appreciate it deeply. i know john's wife kate takes a somewhat different view. and i can't blame her. kate's ready for dinners without john's blackberry at the table and john's ready to spend more time with his three beautiful daughters, margaret, abigail and charlotte all born during his service here. john's daughters and kate mean everything to him and i couldn't be happier that john will be seeing more of all of them very soon.
mr. mcconnell: mr. president i ask unanimous consent the senate now proceed to calendar number 18, s. res. 73. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 18, senate resolution 73 authorizing expenditures by committees of the senate for the periods march 1 2015, through september 30, 2015 and so forth. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the foreign relations committee be discharged from further consideration of s. res. 52 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk
will report. the clerk: senate resolution 52 calling for the release of ukrainian fighter pilot nadia sabachenko and so forth. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i further ask that the cardin amendment to the resolution be agreed to, the resolution as amended be agreed to the preamble be agreed to and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate now proceed en bloc to the consideration of the following: senate resolutions submitted earlier today s. res. 78 reporting jerry car takennian, s. res. 79, dean smith, dean split s. res. 80, lunar new year, s. res. 81, trafficking. the presiding officer: is there
objection to proceeding to the measures en bloc? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the resolutions be agreed to, the preambles be agreed to and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table en bloc. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to consideration of s. res. 82, submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 82, commending kathleen alvarez tritak on her service to the united states senate. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the preamble be agreed to the motion to proceed be laid ton the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that during this adjournment of the senate running until february 23, 2015, the majority leader and the junior senator from missouri be authorized to sign duly enrolled bills or joint resolutions. the presiding officer: without objection.
mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding the upcoming adjournment of the senate, the president of the senate, it the pro tempore and the majority and minority leaders be authorized to make appointments to commissions committees boards, conferences or interparliament conferences authorized by law by concurrent action of the two houses or by order of the senate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: and mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the appointments at the desk appear separately in the record as if made by the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: and mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn to then convene for pro forma sessions only with no business being conducted on the following dates and times and that following each pro forma session, the senate adjourn until the next pro forma session. monday february 16 at 4:45 p.m. thursday february 19 at
10:00 a.m. i further ask that the senate adjourn on thursday, february 19, until 3:00 p.m. monday february 23 and that following the prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journals of proceedings be approved to date and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. i ask that following leader remarks, senate hoeven be recognized to deliver washington's farewell address. further, that following the reading of washington's farewell address, the senate recess until 4:30 p.m., and that upon reconvening, the senate resume consideration of the motion to proceed to h.r. 240. lastly i ask that notwithstanding the provisions of rule 22, the mandatory quorum call in relation to the cloture vote on the motion to proceed to h.r. 240 be waived and that the vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to h.r. 240 occur at 5:30 monday february 23. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so, mr. president, if there is no
>> mr. president later today the senate will consider the nomination of ash carter to be the next secretary of defense. in fact if i could place on demand on him it would be to leave our success with the armed forces and a better position to do with global threats than they are today. as i've noted in the past the overall consequence of many of the president's policies has been to weaken our ability to confront al qaeda and its affiliates, the taliban and associated groups. the president's inflexible commitment to campaign promises made in 2008 have lead led to artificial deadlines for withdrawal from afghanistan, a rest withdrawal from iraq and executive orders to close guantánamo and send detainees back home to places like yemen and afghanistan. it has also led to essentially and america's ability to capture capture, detained and interrogate terrorists whether or not we are still at war with al qaeda.
the truth is al qaeda was at war with us before he went to war with them and today we face a diffuse and versatile threat with terrorists with iso- intent on striking america and its allies. the next secretary to penn state to explain to present the drawing down of afghanistan based on an artificial deadline risks the gains we have made there. he needs to explain the haqqani network and the taliban continue to threaten our allies. the next secretary of defense must do all he can to make the declaratory policy of pivoting to asia a real one. passed drawdowns of conventional power and values to modernize american force have encouraged foes and unsettled friends. so it's time, time to invest in the platforms in the capabilities that will be needed to effectively address china's military build up in the next
secretary must also support the chairman of the joint chiefs when he provides the best military advice to the president especially when that advice is ignored in the white house. here in the senate, i will do all i can to support the next secretary. ash carter's nomination but my support is conditioned on this request incoming secretary needs to have the courage to speak truth to power. to congress, yes but also to his commander in chief. >> speaking in morning business i rise to express my support for the president nominate dr. ashton carter to service our nation's 25th secretary of defense. if defense. a few words of thanks first to chuck hagel our former colleague in the senate who has served as secretary of defense. he is a friend he has had a long career in public service. he is a bedroom from vietnam and the people of nebraska rewarded him by asking him to represent
them in the united states senate. as an nation's first person of enlisted secretary of defense he had the unique -- for war and peace and a strong commitment to our troops. i think chuck hagel for his service and his family for their sacrifices over the last two years. dr. ashton carter has an impressive distinguished record of service as well in government government. an adviser, a scholar. he has what it takes to be a great secretary of defense. his credentials as one of our top security policy experts are well-established. a badger's degree in physics and history from yale, doctorate infield medical physics. he served as faculty chair at harvard and is the author of 11 books. a singularly impressive as this is dr. carter is very much a do or. he has served no fewer than 11 secretaries of defense from leon panetta to chuck hagel included. he has four times and awarded
the department's distinguished service medal as well as the defense intelligence metal and is assistant secretary looked into mr. hughes had sentimental and removing stockpiles from former soviet states of ukraine kazakhstan and belarus. as undersecretary of defense acquisition technology and logistics you was renowned for breaking log jams. we talked about this at some length when we met in my office a few weeks ago and how can we continue i asked him to reform dod so we will be able to rise to the occasion of today's challenges. as part of the discussion i was pleased to hear his appreciation for the department of defense's organic industrial base especially one near and dear to my heart the arsenal in illinois. he recalled the experience in afghanistan. as ash carter try to bring our troops body armor and armored humvees they needed to hit and he recalled working along with great employees dedicated employees as they deliver the
necessary lifesaving equipment to our troops and rolled it off of their assembly lines in record time. i'm confident dr. carter can steer the department defense due through difficult times and provide a present with the best policy advice to deal with their nations challenges. he has my full support. i'm pleased the senate is moving and moving quickly on ash carter. i'm troubled my colleagues across the aisle are delaying consideration of loretta lynch the president's nominee for attorney general of the united states. it's than 95 days since the president announced the nomination. this is longer than any other attorney general nominee has had to wade in recent memory. by way of comparison the democratic-controlled senate confirmed michael mckay c. as attorney general and 53 days. eric holder, 64 days. now i separate hearings with loretta lynch and i listen to the questions particularly from the republican side because most of all democrats are supporting her that i know of and i listen
to the questions of the republican side and i came to the inescapable conclusion that the republican senators were going to refuse any effort to renominate eric holder for attorney general. that's all they had to say. their grievance was with the sitting attorney general who announced he is leaving as soon as his successor is chosen. i listen carefully for any criticism of loretta rand -- alleged that did you hear me. a panel that has the majority republican chosen witnesses and democratic witnesses and early on i believe senator leahy asked the question of all the witnesses there how many of you who were at this public panel oppose the nomination of loretta lynch for attorney general? not one republican, not one democrat. there is opposition to loretta lynch. why are they holding up this important appointment by president obama? why don't we consider that this afternoon?
it could be done and it should be done very quickly. nobody has questioned her records as a federal prosecutor. she has twice before been unanimously confirmed to serve as u.s. attorney for the eastern district of new york. she has been vetted and examined and questioned. she testified before the senate judiciary committee for nearly eight hours answering every question including 600 questions that were sent to her. time to move forward and confirm this obviously well-qualified and historic nominee. the senate judiciary committee will of the to report ms. lynch this week. we have the opportunity to confirm her immediately. there is no reason for further delay. what are the senate republicans trying to prove by holding up an obviously qualified nominee for critically important agency like our department of justice. i hope that the spirit of bipartisanship shown in that committee can be shown on the floor of the senate. mr. president i yield the floor.
>> mr. president the senate will vote later today on the confirmation of ashton carter to fill a critically important cabinet position that of secretary of defense. i think we all know that dr. carter is a dedicated and distinguished public servant who has actually been confirmed twice unanimously to two senior positions in the pentagon. he has been recognized as a four-time recipient of the department of defense distinguished service medal. he has been awarded the defense intelligence metal and i have no doubt the vote on dr. carter will be overwhelming -- overwhelmingly favorable. the defense department faces important timely and difficult decisions in the coming months and years. we know our fiscal constraints and not only is existing but
emerging international challenges. he served as the day-to-day financial officer at the pentagon. as one of the few people who understand, really understands the complexities of the pentagon's budget. i believe dr. carter will build upon the fine work of secretary hagel to chart a path toward fiscal accountability while maintaining the kind of military capabilities we need to face current global threats. dr. carter is receiving his confirmation vote just over a week after he testified before the armed services committee. just two days after his nomination to the full senate and swift action is commendable. but, i want to contrast how his
nomination was handled as compared to loretta lynch is for attorney general. it's a disappointment this morning that contrary to what they did for him republicans on the judiciary committee committee chose to hold over for another two weeks another critical nomination that of loretta lynch to be the attorney general of the united states the nation's chief law enforcement. loretta lynch has twice been unanimously confirmed by the senate. she has wanted to put criminals behind bars for such crimes as terrorism and fraud including some members of this inexplicably some members of this body to some of these terrorists should be held in
guantánamo because we the most powerful nation on earth are afraid to try them in our federal courts the best court system in the world. she showed a lot more courage. she said we will try these terrorists and our federal courts will show the rest of the world that america is not afraid and it worked. she got convictions. now the president nominated loretta lynch more than 100 days ago. it's been more than two weeks and she testified before the judiciary committee. in addition nearly eight hours of live testimony she has responded to more than 600 written questions. her nomination has been pending longer than any of modern attorney general nominee. i confess this to another nominee.
in 2007 democrats have been a minority in control of the senate. president bush had an attorney general a man who by just about any objective standard was a disaster. he was removed and the president, president bush nominated michael mckay c. to serve as attorney general. it took only 53 days from the time of the nomination to his confirmation and that included all the background checks and bought back in the hearings. and then after mr. mukasey's hearing under our rules we could have held his nomination over in committee but i asked the committee not to and we did not.
i voted against mr. mukasey because of the responses related to questions on torture by this chairman i moved to have the committee act quickly on it. in fact i held a special markup session in order for the committee to be able to report his nomination as soon as possible because the president should have an attorney general. he was confirmed by the senate two days later. now republicans should extend the same courtesy to her with respect to ms. lynch's nomination to serve as the nation's top law enforcement officer. now i look forward to working with him and i'm not suggesting we should hold him up for holding her up. of course not come he should be confirmed. he should be confirmed and she should be confirmed. i look forward to working with dr. carter.
particularly concerning our continued diplomatic efforts and iran's nuclear program and ultimately reversing the proliferation of landmines around the world and responsibly managing the pentagon and supporting our servicemembers at home and abroad. and i look forward to working with loretta lynch when the senate ultimately confirms the nomination, as it will. i urge the republican leaders to schedule a confirmation for nomination as soon as she is reported by the senate judiciary committee on february 26. she has already waded far longer for a confirmation vote than any attorney general in modern history and she should be confirmed just as dr. carter is going to be. i ask and set my full statement be made a part of the record. >> without objection.
>> the senator from arizona. >> mr. president i rise today joined by my friend and colleague from rhode island senator reid in supporting the nomination of dr. ash carter to the secretary of defense. i am confident that senator reid and i feel that we have had a very good nomination hearing and dr. carter is qualified to serve as secretary of defense. i have known dr. carter for many years during his lengthy service in washington. he is one of america's most experienced defense professionals respected by republicans and democrats alike. he has served as as assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs under secretary of defense for acquisition technology and logistics and most recently as deputy secretary of defense. in these positions i've known
him to be an honest hard-working and committed public servant. i have had the opportunity to work together with dr. carter on several issues of shared concern, especially those trying to reform the defense acquisition system improving financial management in deployment and repealing and rolling back sequestration. i was also pleased to hear dr. carter explained his views on a number of critical national security issues and his confirmation hearing earlier this month. on afghanistan dr. carter told the committee we can set revisions to the size and pace of the president's drawdown plan if security conditions warrant it is achieved the success that's possible here to the united states to quote continue its campaign and finish the job. dr. carter indicated he is very much inclined in the direction of providing defensive lethal arms to help ukraine resist russian aggression.
he plans to streamline and improve the defense acquisition system that takes too long and cost too much. dr. carter agreed it's time to roll back sequestration because in his words that introduces turbulence and uncertainty that is wasteful and it conveys a misleadingly diminished picture of our power in the eyes of friends and foes alike. americas confronted today with the diversely complex range of national security challenges revisionist russia rising china and radical islamist groups to fundamentally challenge the international order as we have known it since the end of world war ii. the system that charges the rule of law maintains free markets and free trade and relegates wars of aggression to the rightful place in the past. we need a coherent national security strategy incorporating
all elements of america's national power to sustain and defend the international order that is produced an extended security prosperity and liberty across the globe. we need to stop holding our military hostage to domestic political disputes and send an unmistakable message to friend and foe alike that america intends to lead in the 21st century by revealing sequestration immediately. we need to reform our defense acquisition system to restore confidence that every defense dollar is spent well and to ensure that the men and women in uniform are getting the training and equipment they need on time and at a cost acceptable to the taxpayer. that is why america needs a strong secretary of defense now more than ever. think dr. carter will be a good secretary of defense who will always keep the faith to our men and women in uniform and worked
tirelessly on their behalf and that of our national security. i'm hopeful about the prospects of working together with dr. carter along with my colleagues in the senate, armed services on both sides of the aisle to achieve our shared priorities, especially the reform of our defense acquisition system and modernization of our military compensation system and to repeal sequestration. but when it comes to much of our national security policy i must candidly expressed concern about the task that awaits dr. carter and a limited influence he may have. two of his predecessors secretary gates and secretary panetta have severely criticized white house micromanagement of the defense department over centralization of florence and defense policies. according to numerous news reports secretary hagel experienced similar frustrations
with the insular and indecisive white house national security team over issues ranging from isil to ukraine, detention policy to sequestration. dr. carter is a worthy choice choice for secretary of defense. he has the experience, knowledge and skill to succeed and the armed services committee voted unanimously to approve his nomination last week and i will gladly vote to confirm him today. i do so with sincere hope and sadly little confidence that the president has nominated dr. carter will empower him to lead and contribute to the fullest extent of his abilities. because of the time of local people multiplying threats to our security the american people need and deserve nothing less. i want to thank my colleague from rhode island for his
cooperation and coordination with the hearing and with his input and influence which led to a unanimous vote from the committee. mr. president i yield the floor to my friend and colleague from rhode island. >> mr. president. >> the senator from rhode island. >> let me commend the chairman for his very clear, very thoughtful conduct in these hearings with respect to dr. carter and the reason we are here today on the verge of a very strong vote for dr. carter's secretary defense is the contribution of chairman mccain has made to this process and in an extremely bipartisan fashion and again let me thank him for that. mr. president if i may one procedural detail i would ask unanimous consent that a detail he on the finance committee be allowed on the senate floor for the remainder of the day. >> without objection.
>> thank you mr. prison. again mr. president i join senator mccain and not only commend him for his leadership but also to express my strong support for the nomination of dr. ashton carter to be the 25th secretary of defense. dr. carter is uniquely qualified to lead as when henry kissinger said before the armed services committee the united states has not faced a more diverse and complex array of crises and sand of the second world war. dr. carter was born and raised in philadelphia. he received a bachelor's degree in physics and medieval history from yale and a doctorate in theoretical physics where he was a rhodes scholar. during his career dr. carter had held three critical positions in the department of defense assistant secretary of defense for global and strategic affairs in the clinton administration, under secretary of defense for acquisition technology and logistics from 200922011 and
most recently deputy secretary of defense from 21,122,013. he is well aware and astarte been deeply immersed in many of the significant challenges facing this nation and the defense department. as deputy. as deputy secretary of defense dr. carter was a critical player in the discussions and decision-making on the marriage of international issues, issues that will continue the need for close attention in his tenure as secretary of defense printed name just a few was the secretary of defense is not a party to the negotiations on iran's degree program the secretary will be responsible and any number of contingencies. in the event of a breakdown of negotiations the consequences could base the regions for generations to come in the secretary defense will be intimately involved in shaping the reaction. in another area of deep concern isil. their violent campaign in iraq
and syria established an extremist caliphate threatens to erase borders, destabilize the region and create a breeding ground for foreign fighters willing to return to the west and carry out attacks against the united states and their allies. the department must provide critical leadership and coalition efforts that include arab and muslim states to degrade and ultimately defeat isil while being careful to ensure that the u.s. does not end up as brent scowcroft and dr. krasinski indicated before the committee owning some of these complex and syria and elsewhere. in afghanistan the hard-won gains of the past decade are significant but remained fragile fragile. afghan security forces continue taking over small delay for securing afghanistan and the united states and coalition forces have transitioned to a more limited mission of training and assisting the afghan forces against counterterrorism
operations. yet it remains to be seen whether to the divisions on the ground in afghanistan will improve sufficiently by the end of 2016 to want the pace of further reductions under the current plan. dr. carter's participation in evaluating that plan will be absolutely critical. russia's aggression against ukraine has raised tensions in europe to a level unseen in decades. .. case the united states must be determined to determine the best way to support the ukrainian people and their forces in defending their country. political instability in yemen has caused the u.s. to evacuate its embassy and created a vacuum allowing the free rein of al qaeda in the arabian
peninsula which is intent on striking the united states and its interests. the defense department again plays a key role in supporting our partners in yemen navigating the complex political situation and continuing to have a presence there which they doican navigating the complex political situation and continuing to have a presence, which they do which can effectively negate any attempt to use that as a a launching plant for operations in the region or across the globe. the same brand of violence in the middle east can be found in parts of africa canal should be the somalia, al qaeda and boeck of iran and nigeria. countering the threat posed by these groups will require building partner capacity and enabling support to foreign security forces. at a time when resources are scarce and those capabilities are in high demand. north korea the regime has increased interest.
the recent cyber attack is just the latest. the regime is playing a dangerous game. already suffered untold hardships and degradation. has painted itself into a corner. the united states and the department of defense must be ever vigilant. while there are many areas of coordination and cooperation of future relationship remains uncertain. we welcome the rise of a peaceful and prosperous china but china's increasingly controversial claims of sovereignty in the south china sea and dangerous raise concerns.
china has instead chosen to pursue adversarial and unilateral actions the raise questions about its intentions. on the cyber front china has engaged in massive theft of us intellectual property for american industry and government which threatens our technological edge and sows distrust and profound misgivings. china will remain one of the most persistent and complicated challenges. with a focus on crisis overseas is easy to overlook the challenges of our own continent. we have a violent threat of transnational organized crime in our own hemisphere. the us faces threats stemming from drive -- violence of in the drug trade in columbia's and dedicated significant resources and the decade-long commitment to provide training. columbia is a success story, but the the problem simply moved to other nations in
the region. gen. kelly needs the department's efforts in the hemisphere but operates with scarce resources and situations that may have serious consequences. in addition in addition to these traditional challenges that nationstates effaced for many years the united states now faces new 21st-century threats. the years we have devoted significant attention the complex challenges. the attack on the sony corporation of america was a watershed event in many, many respects and should stimulate and must stimulate critical thinking. this attack demonstrates that relatively small and weak rogue nations could reach across the ocean because extensive disruption of us-based economic targets and succeed in suppressing freedom of expression through cyber race.
the real and manifest advantages that enable military superior nations to stray successfully against their homeland are a new and worrisome faith factor for national security requires not only the attention of the department of defense but the attention of the united states congress. now, all of these issues i i have talked about our external, but they're are local issues. and, senator mccain pointed out probably the most significant the budgetary programmatic challenges that are forced upon us by sequestration. the most immediate threat facing the defense department is indeed, sequestration because without resources the programs, the policies the initiatives which must be undertaken to confront these national threats cannot be done. in his words no appeal can wreak such havoc on security
that mindless sequestration is achieving today. army brigades brigades less than 50 percent of our combat squadrons are fully combat ready. sequestration threatens our national security and risks damaging our public safety, safety our health, our transportation, education our environment with the department of defense does and what other civil agencies like fema must do. it is something that i will have to consider that in the context of just the department of defense but so many other agencies of the federal government. every agency. when the budget control act is passed dr. carter organize the strategic choices and management review to find options for implementing the required defense cuts. the result of this review have helped the defense department navigate the difficult fiscal constraints that congress must find a balance and bipartisan
solution and a repeal of sequestration across the entire government's. even without sequestration the defense department has to tackle the rising personnel costs which could cloud out other items in the budget. currently military personnel benefits including health care and retirement consume approximately 1/3 of the defense department budget. if we are to adequately train and equip the force that we have ensure that they are capable of performing these arduous tasks and marginalize we must so the growth within the department in line with the slowdown of the overall top line. the congressionally mandated military compensation and retirement commission recently released their recommendations which are far-reaching and would fundamentally change military personnel benefits. they did so with the idea of improving the benefits
available to many of our forces. they did it for the idea of insisting that our recruitment and retention efforts continue to be successful because we are a volunteer force. the focus was really on the troops but one of the effects of the recommendation was to make the costs sustainable over time. as secretary of defense dr. carter will have to work with congress to carefully consider these recommendations to ensure the apartment has the resources to properly train and equip its fighting minimum and. the other major force driver of the defense department's acquisitions. defense acquisition takes too long and costs too much. the defense department has undertaken significant reforms in recent years, and many of these were personally led. as under secretary of defense for acquisition,
technology, and logistics dr. carter oversaw implementation of the weapon system acquisition reform act of 2,009 and again i must commend senator mccain and senator lavergne for they're lead in the suffered the largest restructuring in more than two decades resulted from this initiative. he also oversaw and contributed to improvements in a number of major acquisition programs including major restructuring of the joint strike fighter program and the largest dod acquisition program, efforts to reduce the cost of the virginia class submarine program and to improve contract performance which is allow the navy to begin a two-year procurement program for these summaries which are under budget and ahead of schedule, a remarkable achievement. improvements to the total combat ship program which has experienced major cost increase and delays and tell, again, with dr. carter's participation dod's participation dod shifted to competitive
fixed-price contracts in 2011. restructuring for the air force 46 katie strategic tank approach which led to a competitive procurement process incorporating a firm fixed-price development and production contract buying up 220 take her aircraft. canceling of the va 71 program, an out-of-control program to program and out of control program to replace the current presidential her to the presidential helicopter fleet. clearly not all the problems have been fixed and fixed, and the defense department can and should do more to streamline the system, but i believe believe from what i have just indicated that doctor carter will do just that, has already demonstrated that he can and will. finally and most importantly , as sen. mccain indicated if confirmed as secretary of defense doctor carter will be leaving 1.3 million active-duty military 820000 reserve and guard and 773,000 civilians.
they are understrength. after over a decade of war and years of fiscal uncertainty with our wrestling with many of the same issues as civilians issues like sexual assault suicide, yet they are committed to protecting the nation and remain the finest force in the world. and every decision, i know he we will make it thinking fine about what is in the best interest of these men and women in uniform and civilian who give so much to this country every day and that, i think, is one of the factors that compels all of us to support this nomination. he has proven time and time again his commitment to the men and women who serve this nation. i believe he is the right leader at the right time for department of defense and urge my colleagues to support his confirmation and i would also at this time to mend and thank secretary chuck hagel for his service. it began decades ago. as a young surgeon in vietnam where he was wounded twice fought and close
combat against the enemies of the united states. he took this effort from his own experience understanding and ultimately the decisions made here in washington are carried out by the armed men and women. he brought sensible and dedication to the men and women of the armed forces. one notable approach was the complete review of the nuclear establishment. the ability to respond to the threats largest of the cold war but the new world we face. so for many, many reasons reasons he has done a remarkable job at this juncture and we have an opportunity to slip his efforts.
>> the political landscape has changed with the 114th congress. 43 new republicans and 15 new democrats in the house and 12 the republicans and one new democrat in the senate 108 women in congress including the 1st african-american in a house in the 1st woman veteran in the senate. keep track of of the members of congress using the congressional chronicle. the congressional chronicle page has lots of useful information including voting results and statistics about each session of congress. new congress, best access. >> here are some of our featured programs.
>> now a discussion on the future of the keystone xl oil pipeline and other issues with congressman jerry mcnerney of california he was a guest on today's ww today is another congressional california member of congress, jerry mcnerney. he is a member of the energy and commerce committee. the house passed another keystone pipeline deal. this is the second of the year. 29 of your fellow democratic members voted in favor of this specific measure. what happens to this measure from here? there is some expectation of a veto from the president. is that a veto fight he can win? guest: he has issued a veto threat, and i think he will follow through with that. i am not sure if it'll sustain in the house and senate. host: some of the democrats to
join republicans on this bill have called this a jobs bill. they said they are supporting this measure because of the job creation. where do you stand on what the keystone xl pipeline can do for jobs in this country? guest: it is not an easy call. it has the potential to create jobs in this country. in my opinion, the keystone pipeline is not really necessary. we are already the biggest oil producer in the world. oil prices are falling. if the pipeline got built, i am not sure it will be used because it would be too expensive. host: the bill the house voted on yesterday was a senate version of a keystone approval bill. one that they debated and had many amendments. with their amendments in that process that you supported and amendments you hoped could be another piece of legislation down the road? guest: the were amendments such as acknowledging that climate change is taking place.
i think it is important for the senate to stand up and say that and pass with sufficient votes. those were nonbinding votes. they didn't have any outcome on the bill itself. they have a good message on some of them, but they didn't do much. on the other hand, if we can get that certain thinking into legislation, that can be helpful. host: one amendment was on energy efficiency, an area that you are obviously outspoken on. guest: energy efficiency is important because you get the biggest bang for your buck when you can reduce our consumption of fossil fuels which contribute to climate change. if we incorporate energy efficiency thinking into our energy policies in the future, we will be better off. host: we are talking with congressman jerry mcnerney.
he will join us for the next 45 minutes or so on "washington journal". " kevin is up first, calling from iowa on the line for democrats. caller: good morning. first, i want to say the first congressman you had on there saying he was right about the christians. my point on the keystone pipeline is how can any congressman want to pass the keystone pipeline when there are farmers in nebraska that are against it going through their property. you are giving a foreign company the right to go through american
citizens'property citizen's property. i don't understand how you are giving a foreign company the rights to go through a citizen's property. guest: thank you for that question. i tend to agree. lots of people in nebraska are concerned about the pipelines going through the farmlands and the region. the pipelines have failed. to have been big spills in the past. it is the right to refuse a company putting big equipment on their land. i voted against the bill because i think it is an environmentally detrimental bill. the full to nebraska should have a right to say no to this. host: if gas prices go back up
is there more pressure on this administration and congress to pass the keystone x pipeline? -- the keystone xl pipeline? guest: it will have a large impact on the way people think. if gas prices are low, people will be more interested in conservation and ways to save money. when gas prices go up, there will be actual pressure to do that. right now, gas prices are low and they seem like they will continue to drop. that is an important factor in how we think about the pipeline. in terms of gas supply, i think america will continue to be a big supplier. host: what is your reading of the process that the president and state department and executive administrations are going through in the approval of the keystone pipeline? guest: they are looking at all the aspects to make sure the
pipeline does not hurt the american economy. to want to make sure it is not an environmental problem in terms of spills and the effects of global warming and climate change, which could be aggravated by the dirty form of oil coming out of canada. host: we have jesse in maryland on the line for independents. caller: a of quick points leading up to the question. fossil fuels and global warming, with nuclear power being the sustainable clean energy source and for the sake of getting behind the state's energy completely and the federal government's promised to the nuclear industry decades ago that they would provide repository for the waste. why not for some resources
behind more nuclear research? guest: thank you jesse. i agree that nuclear power is something we need to have in our back pocket. right now, one of the problems with nuclear power is people are so distrustful of it and so afraid of nuclear accidents. we need to make sure technology is sound and safe. we need to be very transparent to the american people about what we know about the potential for accidents, about what would happen if there was an accident. if people are not culpable with nuclear power, it will not happen. it is in our national interest to make sure we have nuclear power available and we develop nuclear power at a level that would be supported by the market public. host: you have a background in wind power. if you could talk about that and at what point if ever renewable
energy production can replace some of these other energy needs we are talking about. guest: i am very passionate about renewable energy. i spent 20 years or so developing wind energy technology. it was a great way to spend a career. i have seen the technology start from a very primitive technology. year-by-year in improved and became more reliable, more cost-effective. now wind power is very reliable and effective and cost-effective. solar energy is coming down. we are seeing more solar energy installed in california and around the country. we have mandates as to how much power comes from renewable energy in california. we see we are able to meet those goals year-by-year. it is a matter of making the
determination to do it and letting our technology and entrepreneurs -- letting our entrepreneurs develop the technology. i think we have a great future. i think we can gradually displace more and more of the other forms of energy with real renewable energy. i think the future is great. host: one question on the proposed keystone xl pipeline from twitter. guest: trains are more expensive and are more subject to failure. what we need to do is look at american oil. keystone oil from the tar sands is dirty. it produces a lot of carbon. we have american oil. i think the twitter user is
right. any form of energy we use will have some form of detrimental effect on our environment, so we need to become more efficient. that is one of our earlier comments. you get the best bang of your buck with energy efficiency. we need to reduce the amount of energy we waste. i think we can come to a place where we have a sustainable system with a small amount of fossil fuels being used. some nuclear and some are noble. host: let us go back to maryland. good morning. caller: good morning. thanks for having me on. in the interest of transparency, i think it would be better for you to advocate for renewable energy so people are not taken aback with the idea you don't like the fossil fuels.
what i don't get is that this oil will be refined here in the united states because we have the best refineries or we have one that can handle it. if we will build the pipeline why not find a way to compensate farmers and landowners so that if they do build the pipeline, they get a benefit out of it? host: i will you answer -- i will let you answer. guest: fossil fuels and particular liquid fuels will be needed for ever. we will have cars and airplanes and transportation needs that require liquid fuels. we need to make sure we have a supply of liquid fuels in this country. when he to make sure there are sufficient refinery so we don't subject our customers to supply hikes and price hikes in a volatile market. on the other hand, we need to balance that with the need for the environment, the need to
create energy that a sustainable and stable that will have a printable price point, and i think renewables the that. there are some challenges with her nobles -- some challenges with renewables. we need some backups. it is a complicated energy question. i am certainly enthusiastic about renewables, but i see a need for fossil fuels and nuclear power in the future. host: we have a talking with the authorization for use of military force this morning. here is the front page of the "usa today." what is your reading of the draft resolution that came over yesterday? guest: the president is trying to find an answer to a problem
here. it is our response ability in congress to examine the proposal and decide if it is something we can accept. if it is we should pass it, and if not we have the ability to modify or rejected altogether -- or reject it altogether. american soldiers are the most effective and most professional and most well-equipped and best trained fighting force in the world. put them in a foreign country where they are not wanted, and no matter how good they are, it will still be a very difficult struggle. what we need to do is find partners in those countries that share our values. when we have partners that sure those values, we can work with them that.
en. if we can take some of the young officers to become professional soldiers with good values and send us back -- and send those soldiers back. it is a long-term project. americans have to decide if we are ready to make that long-term commitment. host: the language that was in the proposal, are you are you seeing the language in there where it needs to be? guest: the way it is written now, i think we could commit american troops to the field. i am not sure that will be a successful strategy. if we use air power, it has to be very limited and targeted. right now, i feel like there is a little too much leeway on the issue as well as using drones. when you are using air power
independently, you will create more problems than you will be able to solve. host: back to the callers. robbie on the line for democrats. good morning. caller: thanks for taking my call. every time they show the map on the pipeline, they are showing like it is coming through missouri. why are they showing that? is a coming to missouri -- is it coming to missouri? how close will a be to the missouri river? guest: when they show those large maps they are more or less cartoons of what is really happening. the detailed map will have some contour in it. host: if you want to see the map that is in the " washington times" today is here. the expansion is the dotted red line here.
one of the conflicted areas of where it goes through is here in nebraska. let us go to steve in scottsdale arizona. good morning. caller: good morning. i was watching the debate yesterday on the house floor talking about we need efficiency with our fuel. it seemed like it was very inefficient. they had the same arguments repeated over and over again. republicans said the exact same thing maybe 100 times. democrats had their view with the same thing. can we figure out a way to more efficiently debate the issue? let us have all the scientific facts and analyze them.
then let us come up with a solution. they are saying obama will veto it so the whole thing is a big waste of time. i sat and watched it for three hours and thought what a waste. host: thank you steve. a lot of times, these debates that consist of each side rehashing talking points. guest: several pieces of legislative initiative have been introduced knowing they would not go anywhere. i think we voted for the 54th or 55th time to overturn the afford will care act. i think this is our third vote this week on the keystone pipeline. these are not going to go anywhere. i would rather see us sit down and put these partisan games
aside and do what is necessary for the american public. there are plenty of issues where we are working together. for example, on energy efficiency, an issue we have talked about on privacy. when issues become too volatile, it is difficult to compromise. that has to do with the way campaigns are financed and the way negative attack ads are out there for anything you decide to do that is controversial. we have a lot of work to do in this country. one of the things we can do to make things better is to reform the way the campaigns are financed. host: if the debate sense familiar to you, this that from the wall street journal story on the keystone vote -- this is the 11th time the house specifically as approved the keystone legislation. since 2011.
charles is next in virginia on the line for democrats. caller: good morning. i have three questions i would like to ask. the first question is is this pipeline going to benefit the people in the united states? the second question is is the reason why our guest solo low is because they're trying to pass the pipeline? my third question is what oil company in the united states is behind all of this? i will turn the tv on to hear my answer. guest: i wrote them down and i hope i got them right. there will be some benefit to americans if the keystone pipeline is put in. mainly in labor. transcanada has been meticulous about developing logic labor agreements -- project labor agreements.
i think that was wise of them to do that. there will be refineries that will employ people that will be beneficial. i don't think it will have much of an effect on gas prices in this country. because of the way the world oil market works, most of the oil will be shipped overseas. host: the other question was that he wanted to know the oil companies that might benefit from the keystone xl pipeline. guest: i don't know the answer to that question, charles. one of the other question you asked is about the gas being so low because of making the type line pass. the recent gas prices are dropping now is because american producers are producing more oil than they have in a generation
since the 1970's because of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. new technology has been developed over the past 10 years. there is a lot of -- there are a lot of different market forces at play. host: we are talking with congressman jerry mcnerney of california. and energy consultant in congress. the subcommittees he works on -- environment and the economy. we have about 20 minutes or so left with him this morning. dean is waiting in north carolina on the line for public and's. didn't -- on the line for republicans. caller: it is my understanding the nuclear energy that we produced the waste from -- we have no place to store it and no desire to find a place to store it.
for nuclear waste that is 15 plus years old. if the green and renewable energies are being bought up by the oil companies and if that will continue to happen, how can we expect the cost to come down on green energy or renewable energy? guest: thank you dean. nuclear waste is an issue when he to be worried about. i did work on nuclear waste as a graduate student. i have a phd in mathematics. it was one of my studies. there is technology that would be to ensure the safety of nuclear waste. problem is getting a local region to accept putting it in their region. it is understandable that people
would be reluctant to allow nuclear waste. you not only have a potential for some waste leakage, but also the transportation of nuclear waste to the facility and so on. right now, we have the -- the department of energy in the past did a poor job of informing the public of what the project meant and what it was about. there was no transparency. people turned it down. this goes back to my earlier comment about transparency. if you're going to do something like nuclear waste coming to have to let the people know what is happening. you have to be completely open about the risks and rewards. there are rewards to putting nuclear waste in your region. it will create jobs and technology. that is our biggest challenge. it is a sort of political public relations challenge with regard to nuclear waste.
there is a lot of nuclear waste out there that needs to be dealt with. the sooner we do with it, the better. your other question was about renewable energy. it is a free market. if they wanted to buy stocks in renewable energy, it should be allowed to do that. the market will determine whether renewable energy is a couple -- is acceptable. i have seen it come down to three cents or four cents a kilowatt hour in a good location. it is competitive would just about any form of energy. it will find a way into the market. solar is just about the same place. the market will determine the future ever global energy in my opinion. some require 30% of the energy to come from her and will bowls -- to come from renewables.
that will help determine the future of renewable energy. host: i want to bring you into a discussion that is happening on twitter about the keystone xl pipeline. pointing out that the original keystone pipeline comes all the way down to the gulf. someone responded on twitter that it comes down to capacity at how much oil can be shipped through the original route and how much would be -- and how much more would be shipped through the new keystone xl route. when these groups that support the pipeline come before your committee, can you talk about the capacity argument? guest: i haven't heard the capacity argument so much. the southern part of the keystone pipeline is already in place. it is the part through nebraska
and the northern part that needs to be constructed. thehost: the southern part from cushing to the gulf coast here. guest: that is right. the problem is that the heavy oil is different than the oil that is normally pumped into the united states. it is heavier. can use to be heated under a higher pressure. the pipeline has to have special properties that are not required in other pipelines. that is part of the problem. the capacity of the existing lines may or may not be sufficient. i would not want to put that heavy heated high-pressure oil into the existing pipelines without a lot of engineering beforehand. host: on the line for republicans, good morning. caller: good morning. i am a republican, but i think this climate change problem is a problem for civilization.
there are two books that are very important that have recently come out. one is called don't even think about it, why our brains are wired to ignore climate change by george marshall. wired to ignore climate change. there is another book this changes everything. capitalism versus the climate. there was a pbs special about the melting glaciers. is there some way that congress do they have a book study group? host: congressman? guest: climate change is progressing. even the most committed republicans are starting to admit that. is it caused by human activity? can the united states do anything about it? those are concerns that need to
be addressed. we are dumping a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. the temperature of the ocean is increasing. we see migrations of biological systems. the evidence is clear that it is happening in the longer we w the longer we wait to take steps to address climate change more severe the problem we will be. so we need to take steps as soon as possible. i will continue to beat that drum because i think it is important for our national security and it could easily change the makeup of
civilization if left untreated. >> giving speeches on this topic in on the house floor on the senate side, a member known to give speeches sheldon whitehouse, democrat from rhode island discussing climate change. viewers can look those up in the archive. in the meantime we we will go to frank in montana, the line for independence. good morning. are you with us? all right. frank in scranton, pennsylvania on the line for democrats speethree yes. my question is -- speewun turned down your tv and talk to your phone. >> caller: going through our land, people's private property two rivers railroads highways, parks.
also going through sacred indian lands. hasn't the united states stolen enough money or land off of the indians already? and on top of that it we will be going down. what is going to happen? .. ith the residue from that? it is the doherty us -- it is the dirtiest oil on earth. host: several concerns from frank. guest: thank you for those questions and concern. i agree that the pipeline is going to have to go through private property. people should have some amount of say of whether that is allowed or not. the state of nebraska is struggling with that issue and it should be. in terms of refining, when the oil goes to refineries, it does not come out as gasoline.
bera star, there's kerosene, a lot of other products. i don't think there's too much waste that will be the result of the soil. it's dirty because they have to really dig it's like an open pit mine. they have to dig into the earth to get it and they have to use a lot of equipment. it's heavy and so on and it produces a lot of carbon dioxide per energy produced. let's go let's go-go to wayne and wester first north carolina. on the line for independents. the morning. >> caller: good morning. i like to make a brief statement and then ask a question of your guest and my statement is i am beginning to wonder if the president of the united states is worst-case scenario inept, best-case scenario the enemy within. my question to your guest is what can he do to control carbon
emissions other than more government intervention and private enterprise and his reliance on false information as to global warming and climate change. thank you. >> guest: well, i am not sure that i agree the information on climate change is false. we are seeing evidence of climate change everywhere. all the glaciers worldwide have been receiving. we are seeing severe storms. we are seeing droughts and we are seeing the ocean turn more acidic which is detrimental to shellfish of all kinds and there are a lot of other direct evidence that climate change is happening and the united states can be a leader and let me tell you how. if we become, if we start limiting our carbon emissions and requiring countries that
ship products to us to limit their carbon emissions in the matinee -- manufacturing of those products since we are such a large consumers other countries should be forced to follow suit and i think that would set a precedent in terms of how the united states can show real leadership in environmental stewardship and making sure the earth is a place that our children and grandchildren and descendents would want to have. >> host: we have 10 minutes left with congressman mcnerney democrat of california. we want to to get as many calls as you can but before we do you touch on this earlier and i want to give you chance to talk more about it. a constitutional amendment you are proposing on campaign finance reform. can you talk about how that would work? >> guest: thank you this is something is very important for our country. we are seeing every election seems more and more money spent on campaigns. new records are being set every year or two and i think that is
detrimental to our democratic institution. that certainly makes our government more ineffective, more wasteful because its programs that are being supported that shouldn't because people like those programs but what i am proposing is that we change from the current system where there is money going everywhere from unknown sources to allowing all me money to come from individual citizens supporting or opposing a candidate and that money will only go to the candidate's principle campaign committee. >> host: so political parties in these packs we have heard so much about could not give money to these individual candidates? >> that's correct. the only money that would flow us from individual citizens in the campaign controlled by the candidate. >> host: how do you think the courts would see that argument that you are making especially when we have heard about the free speech argument that the
courts have come up with in some of the key campaign-finance cases that they are decided. >> guest: the beauty of a constitutional amendment is the courts uphold the constitution so they wouldn't be able to overturn anything like that but it's a very big list. you have to have two-thirds passive into there to the senate passed than three-quarters of the state legislatures out there pass it so it's important that the american people understand what's happening in campaign financing and we want to make a change and let people know and let washington know that they want change and let their state legislatures now that they want change. what i'm doing is putting out there very strong proposal. i would like to see people discuss it and i'd like to see become part of our national dialogue and people get excited about it. we see the possibility of money coming in from more sources because the new supreme court decisions have made for
anonymous donations, anonymous contributions to campaigns and i think this is a real threat. >> host: job in the virginia beach, virginia on the line for republicans. good morning john. >> caller: good morning. just bear with me for a minute. before world war i limit demand for oil rose and following the 20s there was prosperity for the whole world and then we fell into recession again and then hitler got us into world war ii and begin demand for oil still rose and the.
it works on closed carbon cycle. it sucks and all the carbon that it puts out. host: i will let you comment. guest: i appreciate innovative ideas. i would need to look into the claim about the hemp being more effective in terms of producing oil that can be transformed into petroleum-like products. we need to be open-minded and let innovators create new
technologies we also need to focus on energy efficiency because that is where it will come from. much of her energy is lost to building and efficiency, and efficient lighting transportation is also an efficient. we can make our telecommunications more efficient. there is a lot we can do and what i want to do is make sure we have the opportunity from washington to follow them that path. >> host: thomasson eagle river wisconsin on the line for democrats. >> caller: good morning. i'm against the pipeline but i figure sooner or later our government is sold by big oil and it will get rushed down our throats are nervous. what i would like to see his legislation that would make this design a better pipeline may be a double while pipeline like they have in our tankers as well as many more shutoffs in line
with that pipe so if there is a leak you don't have thousands of gallons spilling out. it's only limited to a few hundred where the shutoff valve would almost automatically shut off. so i would like to know why washington isn't forcing patrolling companies to develop their industry better like the same thing they have had for years. >> guest: certainly i think you're concerned about the safety of pipelines is well-founded. there have been leaks in the last year set up a devastating and some of it is because of incompetence and some of it because people are taking shortcuts that we need to have high standards with regard to these pipelines and other forms of transportation for petroleum products. energy is not necessarily a clean business and a more efficient we become the less we have to use of those dirty
energy source is the more we can rely on renewable sources in nuclear power. >> host: lois is in palm harbor on on the light for independents. good morning. >> caller: good morning i had one comment and a question. i would like to see american companies behind the push for keystone and my question is i would like current up-to-date status of the oil spilled in our pristine yellowstone river and i will take my answer off-line. thank you. >> guest: i don't have any information on the spill in yellowstone. sorry, i can answer that question. >> host: she also wanted to talk about who is pushing for the keystone xl pipeline? a lot of interest involved here. >> guest: certainly the canadian government is a very big player in this. they want to see this happen. they're using diplomatic tools and i think that is natural for
a country to want to see their products be exported. there is also right now some of the labor unions are favorable about it because there are good jobs that will create and these are understandable interest. the thing is what is the trade-off? is the pipeline actually going to be used? as global warming concerned to be addressed to the pipeline issue and other issues similar to that. i don't think there's anyone big interest pushing this through. i think there are a lot of different interests and certainly the refiners want to see that happen and i think there's a lot of foreign interest, a lot of foreign interest i would like to see that as well. >> host: we will leave it there, congressman jerry mcnerney democrat from california of energy and
b the film is based in many ways on the work of deborah willis, reflections in black her groundbreaking book about photographers but very much aware that there was this other narrative that was going on as well and which black people were constructed post-slavery and even before the end of slavery as something other than human and it was part of the marketing
the director of the national counterterrorism service testifies at a hearing. the house foreign affairs committee looks at the military campaign against isis in syria and iran. and later we talked to congressman dana rohrabacher about u.s. foreign policy. the head of the national counterterrorism center testified before the senate intelligence committee about local threats and ongoing counterterrorism efforts. the intelligence committee is chaired by north carolina senator richard burr. this is an our and a half.